By Vanne Elaine P. Terrazola
Members of the Senate minority bloc have sought a probe on the controversial purchase of the two Philippine Navy warships by the Department of National Defense which dragged the name of Special Assistant to the President Bong Go.
Senators Franklin Drilon, Francis Pangilinan, Bam Aquino, Leila de Lima, Riza Hontiveros, and Antonio Trillanes IV have filed Senate Resolution 584 which seeks an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the status of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Modernization Program, particularly the acquisition of the two Navy frigates for P16 billion.
They said the resolution seeks to determine whether or not the acquisition of the warships “promotes the goals of the modernization program and complies with pertinent laws.”
The resolution did not mention Go, who allegedly “intervened” in the warship deal, but the opposition senators highlighted the removal of PN Flag-Officer-in-Command Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado who allegedly resisted the implementation of the acquisition project.
Lorenzana, last December, said he “lost trust and confidence” on Mercado for questioning the contract awarded to Hyundai Heavy Industries to build the Navy warships. The minority senators also noted the creation of a DND steering committee which affirmed the approval of the deal with HHI.